I had my first surgery on my head when I was in primary school. All I remember is being sent to school with my head bandaged up – the surgery was for a birth mark that had gone feral. I had the biggest head in the entire school; I know because the nuns had to specially order my hat. That hat threw a shadow that could shade the entire school, I hated having to wear it; at least the bandages drew attention to my giant head for different reasons. I had a head full of brain tumours but at that time nobody knew – the tumours sat quietly growing in my head for many years. I had two perfect sons and survived the best part of a bad marriage before they were discovered.
The tumours reached the point of blowing my brains out of my ears when I was 26. I had two lots of brain surgery in 3 weeks. The first surgery was to insert a shunt to relieve pressure because my brain was squashed to the back of my head. 7 days later I had the second surgery to remove the tumours; I was not supposed to live through the first surgery and here I am 35 years later telling my tale of woe. I may well buy myself a Coke to celebrate.
I never thought doctors made mistakes, so when they told me my body was breaking down because of the brain tumours, I believed them; if the chronic cough was chronic bronchitis, well it must be. If the 2.9 kilo goitre was bad luck, well it must be; if the constant pain in my arms was arthritis from early degeneration, well it must be. If all the growths were bad luck, well it must be. If the melanomas and cysts were because of a skin disease, well it must be. And if my immune system was non-existent, well it must be.
After years of surgeries and doctors and specialists appointments, with everything imaginable diagnosed, I had all but given up, when I had a chance encounter with a friend that was studying naturopathy. We sat and had a coffee and a sandwich for a catch up. I was using my inhaler and in between breaths I was blurting out all my troubles. After a 20 minute chat she told me to take wheat out of my diet and follow a gluten free diet, because the shortness of breath only occurred after I ate; she was confident my problem was a food allergy. She said I will know within 2 weeks if a gluten free diet was for me.
From that very day I cut wheat from my diet, on the third day of being wheat free I could lift my arms above my head without pain. It was about a week after that I remember walking home and had a feeling of something being pulled out of my body – all of a sudden life was good and the never-ending thoughts of necking myself were gone. I never told a soul, I knew if I told any of the family they would try and have me committed somewhere. I studied, I researched, I found if you have a big intolerance to wheat it can literally kill you from the inside, and that is what I believed was happening to me. It wasn’t easy, not by any stretch of the imagination. I copped a lot of flack from family and back then 10 years ago, I did not have a computer so I had to read every label of everything I bought. Now I just type whatever information I need into Google and hey presto!
Doctors never suggested food intolerances, they would say there are so many conditions that mimic, so they put you through everything imaginable before suggesting anything. I was so naive, I believed everything they said and after many years and many surgeries, so many things coming back from the Lab as unidentifiable, so many unexplained illnesses, 12 malignant melanomas, dozens of skin cancer cut outs, hundreds of burn offs – the possibility of food intolerance was never suggested.
I have not had any surgery or melanoma or burn offs or cut outs in 10 years of being gluten free. No arthritis, no chronic cough, no eye problems, no bloating, no confusion. So if you are not getting any satisfaction or answers from your doctors, give it a try….it could change your life…